Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

By: Richard Woodard

Resident columnist and spirits know-it-all Richard Woodard provides his monthly take on the latest in the global white spirits industry.

Comment - Spirits - Can Absolut's US Headache be Soothed by Elyx? 4 Sep 2014

Late last month, in Pernod Ricard's full-year results, the spirits company flagged a tough time for Absolut vodka. Richard Woodard surveys the wreckage and considers the brand's future.

Comment - Spirits - Hybrid Spirits: Innovation or Laziness? 21 Aug 2014

This month, Richard Woodard looks at the NPD trend of blending spirits either together or with another alcoholic segment to create a whole, new sub-category. Is this really innovation at its purest?

Comment - Spirits - Beam Suntory's Big White Spaces 5 Aug 2014

It's been three months since Suntory completed its purchase of Beam Inc. What better time that the summer lull for Richard Woodard to take a long, hard look at just what the Japanese group got for its US$16bn.

Comment - Spirits - Gin's Long Quest for Kwan 11 Jun 2014

For a spirits brand, what does being a “category leader” mean? Is it purely a blunt measure of cases sold? Profit made? Or something more elusive and nebulous? Richard Woodard, gin in hand, investigates.

Comment - Spirits - Brand Loyalty? Let's Be Friends 27 Mar 2014

The aim of all brand owners is to secure consumer loyalty above all competitors. But, as Richard Woodard suggests, this might be an unattainable - and hence unrealistic - aim.

Comment - Spirits - Tequila: Is Diageo Left With the Scraps? 11 Feb 2014

Following a flurry of activity in the Tequila sector last month, has Diageo finally returned to the point it had previously reached when it handled Jose Cuervo? Richard Woodard compares then to now.

Comment - Spirits - Where Next for Flavoured Vodka? 14 Jan 2014

Flavoured vodka may have hit a bump in the US, but there's a major opportunity in global markets for the sub-category, argues Richard Woodard.

Comment - Spirits - Can Absinthe Make You Mad? No. But Selling it Might 14 Nov 2013

Category definitions are an on-going minefield in parts of the spirits industry. Gin, rum and Tequila have all suffered from muddled thinking. But none compare to what absinthe has experienced. Here, Richard Woodard wages war on the red-tape wretchedness that surrounds the category

Comment - Spirits - Bacardi's Grey Goose Campaign: Frankly Speaking 15 Oct 2013

Returning to the just-drinks fold in the guise of our white spirits commentator, Richard Woodard kicks off his latest stint with us with a look at Bacardi's recently-announced global marketing push for its Grey Goose vodka brand.

Comment - Spirits - Cachaca: Be Wary of Tequila's Lead 24 Feb 2012

They may be linked by little but geographical origin, but cachaça and Tequila have quite a bit more in common that one might initially believe. It's just that, according to Richard Woodard, you've got to really look for the link.

Comment - Spirits - Plymouth Gin: West is Best 26 Jan 2012

When Pernod Ricard said last week that it is updating the packaging for - and raising the price of - Plymouth Gin, there was a run on tonic water at Richard Woodard's local shop. It's taken a while, but the brand is back, and Woodard would like to celebrate.

Comment - Spirits - Russian Vodka Needs its Own Red October 15 Nov 2011

A new generation of Russian vodka brands is struggling to get its voice heard, the moneyed Russian Standard aside. Richard Woodard thinks some collective bargaining might do the trick.

Comment - Spirits - When Innovation Goes Crazy 11 Oct 2011

Innovation in the spirits industry is 'a good thing'. But, Richard Woodard is worried that, of occasion, some spirits companies run the risk of disappearing up their own still pipes when they over-innovate.

Comment - Spirits - Diageo Eyes the Big Prize? 26 Aug 2011

Diageo's Paul Walsh isn't short of people telling him what to do with his company's money. So, on the back of a strong set of full-year results, Richard Woodard decided to have a nose around the Diageo stable to see what is still missing.

Comment - Spirits - And, For the Lady? 21 Jul 2011

Ladies are all the rage in the drinks industry, it would appear. With product launches in beer, soft drinks and spirits targetting the fairer sex, it would appear that the female of the species is in the spotlight. But, Richard Woodard is unimpressed - and he's got Diageo in his crosshairs.

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